As predicted, some effects of last year’s historic vote in favor of Palestine attaining “observer status” at the UN are already bearing fruit. As i recall, the entire center and right all claimed that the landslide victory for Abbas and the people of Palestine “wouldn’t change a thing”. They were wrong in more ways than one.
First, as expected, Netanyahu immediately announced new building contracts in the settlement areas of the West Bank. i’m sure than this came as no surprise to anyone at all on either side of the wall. And, while nearly any Israeli Prime Minister would likely have done the same, Bibi’s obligatory, knee-jerk reaction of accelerating settlement-building was a risky bet: he was hoping that, as usual, the backlash would be limited to the bleeding hearts in Tel Aviv and Europe. He was wrong.
Adding insult to injury, perhaps still feeling empowered by his Fearmongering: Iran speech (complete with illustration) at the UN earlier this year, Netanyahu even had the nerve to no-show the United Nations’ periodic review on human rights. To be sure, this act of belligerence in and of itself was not extraordinary – after all, they’re only following our example of: being the lone veto at the UN; abysmally failing human rights on the international level; failing to adhere to international law; and even skirting World Court decisions. Whether Netanyahu overplayed his hand, whether he couldn’t read the tea leaves correctly, or whether the recent UN bitchslap was simply longer in coming than some may have anticipated, his political instincts at this moment in time are none too sharp. Rather than appearing as a confident leader secure in his position, he comes off more as a man who’s teetering on cusp of his own undoing. It’s one thing to tell the whole world to fuck off – even your sponsor of patronage – when you have an ace up your sleeve; it’s another thing completely if you’re out of aces, out of tricks, and out of favor with the sitting US President.
Then, too, was the recent Israeli sacking of a purported Hezbollah convoy of arms just inside Syria, another miscalculation. According to recent press reports, “most analysts” agree that the strike was a “calculated risk” that Netanyahu took, against the lesser odds of a Syrian retaliation amid their own, obvious problems at the moment. Here, Bibi is only half-right. No, Damascus won’t likely do anything even half as foolish as say, lobbing a single cruise missile over the border. What Israel had better brace itself for is an old-school, class-A, bona fide “terror” strike, courtesy of either Hezbollah – or perhaps a revenge assassination or two on behalf of the Mukhbarat, Syria’s much-feared intelligence agency. Note the quotation marks around the word “terror”. In reality, it would in truth be an attack of retaliation, which, if proportional, normally falls within the legal bounds of international law. Silly distinctions. Anyways, what you, dear reader, would likely witness would be some CNN mock story that showed you one more instance of bad behavior on behalf of Assad – and they’d likely hold the story back for a week or two – so, by that time, most casual viewers and American voters would hardly remember the inciting incident – the Israeli strike on the alleged convoy.
Back to the recent UN bitchslap –
What can we make of this – is this merely another worthless UN finding, another toothless vindication? Or could it be something more?
As i’ve said elsewhere, in politics (and it’s always all politics), it’s all about timing, timing, timing. The Window of Opportunity. And if this window has ever been fatefully flung open for the Palestinians, it’s now. Strike while the iron’s hot. And of course, the incident of interest must be weighed against the backdrop of everything else that has recently led up to it. Given that Abbas is still fresh off his recent 138-9 victory at the UN; given the very serious, yet then-dismissed Goldstone Report; given the recent international wave of opposition that gained steam during the Mavi Marma Turkish flotilla incident; and given the recent shift in perception toward Israeli atrocities, even moderately evidenced in the mainstream media – in an underdog-upset-type of reversal, it almost seems as if nothing can stop Palestine’s momentum.
As for the finding – well, it’s no ruling; it’s not legally binding, of course. If would be more so, if it were issued by the Security Council – and it wouldn’t, because we just vetoed an otherwise-unanimous Security Council resolution condemning the settlements early in 2011. But it’s not toothless – it is my belief that it was designed to serve as a warning shot. This is the (rest of the) UN’s way of saying: “Look, we’ve tried to politely deal with this before, and this is our last warning. Maybe they (Palestine) will be successful at the ICC, and perhaps they won’t. But unless you want to tempt fate, now is the time to start dialing it back.” The ICC has already publicly stated that, in light of the recent and successful UN bid for “observer status”, they are now willing to reconsider Palestine’s demands for an investigation.
A new awareness has finally cast itself upon the world. While it’s still terribly difficult to imagine justice coming to Palestine, it’s now a scant possibility. A mustard seed. A glimmer. Injustice can thrive, it can breed, it can destroy, but it can’t live on forever. It can only fester for so long as it lies undetected.
i’ve had a blast tonight catching up on all the spin from the apologists and rabid Zionists from Team Apartheid; to be sure, it was all just as expected as it was sniveling and farcical.
“Oh, it won’t change anything on the ground (sniffle).”
“The only way for Palestine to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations with Israel (whimper).”
“This vote was merely symbolic (smacking gums).”
Here’s what redneck South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham had to say: “The biggest fear I have is that (if) the Palestinians achieve this status it won’t be very long before the Palestinians use the United Nations as a club against Israel.”
HA! Just priceless!
Or, how about that bitch, Hillary, lamenting that this historic, landslide vote was “unfortunate and counterproductive”?
i believe what she really meant was that it was unfortunate and counterproductive for the US and Israel. Perhaps this all wouldn’t have been quite so embarrassing if the US and Israel didn’t practically beg the world not to support the vote, in between the trash-talking and arm-twisting.
Too bad we haven’t yet seen the shot of Susan Rice’s bitchass storming out of the UN assembly hall – like she always does. i’m sure it will surface soon enough.
Journalists worldwide have already covered the gamut on the possible ramifications of the vote, including the childish, tyrannical, and likely chance that the US will pull more funds from the UN – just like they did after the UNESCO vote last year, or the equally as likely chance of Israel’s illegal transgression to withhold collected Palestinian taxes as well as international aid. i’m simply going to reiterate a couple of points that bear bringing home:
The latest smackdown of Gaza had nothing – nothing to do with grad rockets and they laughable “right of Israel to defend itself”. It had everything to do with intimidation and the classic strategy of tyrants, which is to divide and rule – in this case, Israel was desperately hoping against hope to sow more discord and faction between Fatah and Hamas. They failed, and they failed miserably. Lest we forget, none other than Haniyah himself has repeatedly said that, while he may not agree with a two-state solution or reconciliation with Fatah, if the Palestinian people support these things, he will support them as well. For, as any rational observer well knows, and despite western media appearances to the contrary, Hamas is a genuine political movement; while indeed, at times, Fatah has appeared to acquiesce to global opinion, and Hamas is more of “the peoples’ choice”, neither group is so at odds with the other so as to sabotage the movement with acrimony.
The most recent, gruesome, and brutal aerial invasion was designed to disrupt the Palestinian political structure, plain and simple; while Netanyahu knew damn well that he could not deter Hamas from their undying opposition, he was hedging a small wager that he just might be able to scare Abbas and Fatah back to the stacked and loaded “negotiation table”. Of course, this is the same table that produced the worthless Clinton Camp David Agreement as well as the Oslo Accords – neither of which has ended the brutal oppression, kidnappings, torture, and assassination; the perpetual invasions and bombings along with the foregone conclusion of massive civilian casualties; or the illegal control of movement and goods, the illegal settlements, the illegal occupation, or the illegal naval blockade, for the matter. This tired carrot-and-stick approach has run its sorry course. Palestine actually and erroneously tried playing their game for awhile – the corner suicide bombings virtually ceased; long periods without a single (retaliatory) grad rocket prevailed, and Fatah carried on with their tails between their legs, desperately and ignorantly hoping that things would change for the better. And what did they get in return?
More invasions, more bombings, more death and destruction, more dead women, children, and babies, less arable land, less water, and an exponential increase of encroaching settlement.
Will today’s historic vote have any immediate effect – other than withholding of mandated funds and aid? Probably not. On this, the Zionist Israelis, their US stooges, and the Diaspora apologists are all correct. However – they’re missing the point completely.
What they don’t fully understand or appreciate, as tyrants and superpowers, is the strategy of guerrilla warfare.
You don’t take a tyrant head-on when he’s carrying a club and you’re left with your fists – and you’re half his size. Or, for a more relevant analogy, you don’t take an IDF soldier head-on when he’s got an M-4 carbine and you have a rock – well, unless you have 20 other friends with rocks and adequate cover, anyway.
You lurk. You strike, then take cover. You come out at night. You exploit his weaknesses. You make him fight on your terms, not his. You fight asymmetrically.
And when all else fails – you garner as much media coverage and fight for as much global sympathy as you can. For, as we all know, all wars are political, and, conversely, all politics really is – is war without arms.
You’d think that by now, Israel would learn; that they’d do everything they could not to further inflame the ever-growing global outrage and disgust. You’d think that, in today’s age of the 24-hour newscast, the internet, Twitter, and the like, they would avoid civilian casualties at all costs, that they would only resort to force when absolutely necessary – actually adhering to the false premise of “their right to defend themselves”.
And this, dear reader, belies one of the top two most arrogant nations on the face of the planet.
(The other one is the one that’s supplying those pesky fighter-bombers, military technology, and massive handouts.)
Every time that Israel flagrantly bombs Gaza, they lose international support; every time an image of a dead Palestinian child actually makes it to CNN, they lose international support; and every time they flagrantly violate international law, they lose international support.
This was clearly demonstrated today in spades. Israel was trumped, they were undone, and they were humiliated on the world stage.
THIS is the change.
The facade has fallen, the curtain lifted, the veneer stripped away.
The only ones who still don’t get it are the US and Israel. The rest of the world is no longer fooled. And this is a far cry from only a decade ago. Just think –
With a few more bombings and another invasion or two –
1) Where will their standing be in another decade?
2) Could they find themselves isolated internationally – not only in spirit, as they are now, but actually in practice?
3) Might they possibly lose the little credibility they have left in the world?
4) Is it possible – that they may even lose the unequivocal support of the US – say, if Netanyahu’s relationship with the next couple US presidents is anything like that of his with Obama? And if they keep up their official policy of apartheid?
The answers: question one: in the shitter; question two: likely; question three: likely; question four: they may already be there.
“What’s the change?”
THIS IS THE CHANGE.
So, to all the naysayers, the apologists, and the merely ignorant – spin the ramifications all you want, just as i have done so myself –
You still can’t spin 138-9.
Descriptions of the Likud Party in Israeli politics as “conservative” are simply too kind to conservatism.
Calling the Likud “conservative” is the understatement of the year; they make true conservatives – say, the “old school Republican” – look as liberal as a gay black man at a women’s rights march on a southern California university campus. Bibi Netanyahu and today’s Likud is starkly reminiscent of the George W. Bush administration – they like to torture, they like to attack and invade sovereign territory, and they could care less if they wreck their own nations in the process.
What’s even worse (yeah, it gets worse) – is that not only do you have a terrorist, flagrantly illegal outfit running the nation – but it’s also been co-opted by a bunch of messianic-minded rabbis. It would be similar to Dubbya’s cabinet – if he also assigned John Hagee, Fred Phelps, and Terry Jones to cabinet positions or gave them the coveted nod of official advisor. Let us not forget – Israel is no democracy, as falsely advertised; it is a merely a modern theocracy – but a theocracy, nonetheless. Near East scholars such as Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk have repeatedly stated that even that other theocracy, Iran, is more democratic than Israel. On the exterior, yes, you have a technocratic facade, built around universities, guided missile factories, and tech companies. Underneath the transparent veneer, however, lies the equally or more powerful architecture of rabbis that remind the culturally-inclined American of popular “end times” hucksters found in megachurches; militant zealots who make no bones about their preference for bloody hell over giving up one single settlement; and like-minded neocons, who, like their American counterparts, are experts in the Machiavellian art of deceiving the public – the devil in disguise, if you will. And, just like the Devil, they are professional liars of the highest order, with unparalleled skill at mixing a few horrible lies among a sea of more palatable truths.
One more obvious parallel that nonetheless must be noted: Israel, while always having been the terrorist aggressors in the region, have long maintained the illusion of still being the victims. Until now. This historically documented trend of a socially imploding and recklessly militant superpower should be all too apparent to wide-awake Americans, especially after Dubbya’s fascist march to internal combustion. Or Rome. Or – Nazi Germany, while we’re at it.
The world has heard Israel cry wolf for decade after decade – yet, just as the internet has been an integral and invaluable asset in slowly shedding light upon September Morning in the US, it has also been a critical asset in the expose of Israel’s policy of apartheid.
Without further ado, please have a look at the terrific article attached below. While this blog is primarily a platform for the Editor’s own words and thoughts, there will occasionally be posts primarily dedicated to other works; Editor wishes to not to start yet one more, unoriginal blog out in the vast expanse of the digital universe that primarily copies and pastes other writers’ works (much less, without properly assigning credit). Having said all this, Noam Sheifaz’s piece deserves a look.
Here’s are two short excerpts:
“All the so-called Likud “moderates,” except for Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, were pushed out of the top seed and will probably be out of the Knesset; that includes ministers Benny Begin, Michael Eitan and Dan Meridor. The most vocal backbenchers – those behind attacks on the left, Arabs and human rights NGOs – won the day. The Likud looks right now like the Tea Party’s dream team…”
“One final note: More than anything, this list is the result of the occupation. The longer it lasts, the crazier this country gets. And it’s happening faster than people think.”
Sheifaz, N. “The Likud presents: the craziest, most radical list ever expected to win elections.” 11/26/12. +972 Magazine.
ISRAEL AND THE US CLAIM that they will vote “no” in tomorrow’s Palestinian UN bid for observer state status because Palestine refuses to directly negotiate with Israel.
i’ve already told you why the terrorist states, the US and Israel, are attempting (in vein) to thwart this all-but-guaranteed, successful motion; in a nutshell, it gives Palestine access to the International Criminal Court, and generally speaking, lends Palestine more international visibility, legitimacy, and clout. It’s also quite embarrassing for the US and Israel. As with so many motions at the UN, the US, Israel, Canada, and perhaps the UK – will be represent virtually the only “no” votes out of about 190 – though this time – the UK may either vote “yes” or abstain. Tomorrow, France will represent another break from tradition if they vote as pledged, and Australia will likely abstain, though it’s scantly possible to see a “yes” vote from the land down under.
As i’ve tirelessly said – the cracks have appeared. And ignoring them won’t help.
But back to this fallacious and farcical reasoning of denying Palestine one more step towards statehood and/or international recognition –
i think it’s pretty clear, even to the casual observer, that the Camp David Accords (and Oslo, and the rest) –
Have been none too effective.
The White House photo-ops with Clinton, Arafat, and Barak (no, that as in former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, dumbass) were cute.
The accord itself was for shit. i’d like to pose a few questions to help clear up this matter of “negotiations”, regarding the Camp David Accord:
Did it stop the routine invasions and bombings of Gaza (and Lebanon)?
Did it end the periodic mass slaughters of refugees in Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon?
Of course not.
Did it end the illegal 45 year-old brutal military occupation of the territories?
Did it cease the illegal practices of population transfer or movement of life-sustaining goods and services (Geneva, Article 53)?
Did it curtail the regular kidnappings, indefinite detention (even of minors, many of whom ended up raped), or torture of Palestinians?
Did it bring an end to the exponential growth of the ultra-militant settlements?
Did it bring to a close the protocol of collective punishment or use of excessive, unwarranted, and disproportionate force?
Has Israel adhered to the agreed UN Security Council Resolution 242 that calls for withdrawal from the territories altogether?
A lotta good Camp David was.
For the US and Israel to practically beg the Palestinians not to finally mobilize the support of the international community and resort to inclusion at the UN – which is long overdue – is pathetic.
This is just like the schoolyard bully offering the poor kid he just ripped off or beat up a candy bar, so that the aggrieved won’t run off and tell the principal.
Israel: “Oh, please, please, please, don’t go to the UN! We’ll even curtail settlement-building (a promise to soon be reneged upon)! Come, on, let’s just talk this out amongst ourselves – we can be reasonable. We don’t need to involve the international community!”
“No? Fine. Then run for cover bitches, ’cause we’re about to bomb your asses, level your cities, and kill your innocents – AGAIN.”
This is “democracy” and “negotiation”, Israeli-style.
All directly supported by you, the good American taxpayer.
The blood isn’t just on the US President’s hands – it’s on yours, too.
Palestine will be victorious tomorrow. And, you know what’s so ironic about all of this? Aside from the obvious fact that a once-persecuted people has subjugated their next-door neighbors – all of them – to intimidation, at the least, and at worst, brutal apartheid and a lighter version of genocide?
They brought this on themselves, totally and unequivocally.
By way of their knee-jerk reaction and hypersensitivity to external hostility, Israel has created a host of enemies, an undying network of resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, not to mention, because of its policy of unabated aggression and its status as a warfare state, it is on the verge of social implosion.
And perhaps even worse – it has lost a tremendous amount of international support that was once unquestioned and unwavering; this, they once had in the palm of their hand. Not anymore. Their transparent effort of “democracy” by way of invasion, mass killing, brutal occupation, and apartheid, has become all too clear to the rest of the world. Netanyahu and the Likud Party, as well as past leaders and their policies, are running their own nation straight into the ground; they represent over sixty years of continuous George W. Bush administrations. They have lost what the Chinese call the “Mandate of Heaven”, they have lost international sympathy, and their experiment has failed miserably –
As tomorrow will clearly demonstrate.
Palestine diplomats receive a standing ovation upon their UNESCO induction. The result – Israeli withholding of internationally-mandated aid, suspension of millions of dollars in US funds to UNESCO, and frantically-paced settlement building. Incidentally, Israel itself was kicked out of UNESCO in 1974 for its razing of the Temple Mount – but was reinstated when the US threatened to withhold funding. Photo: Thibault Camus, AP
Originally posted at https://www.facebook.com/FilterThis on November 16, 2012
From the New York Times, 11/14:
“Israel also says it fears that the Palestinians will use their enhanced status to try to gain entry to the International Criminal Court, where it could seek to prosecute Israel for its actions in those territories, like the building of Jewish settlements.”
i’ve written much about the war crimes and crimes against humanity on behalf of Israel, regarding Palestine. i believe some of you saw the recent slideshows. Those images are not rare; the internet is littered with them. Not that CNN, Fox 5, or Huff Post is at liberty to put them on display. i’m not going to visually twist that knife anymore, but i believe i have made that point loud and clear.
Regardless, i’m sure some of you still don’t quite get it. After all, when all you see in the obfuscating, cocksucking Big Media reports about Israeli-Palestinian affairs is how those terroristic, mongrel Arabs apparently “started it”, it’s hard to blame you. This is the logical outcome of a wildly subverted press – in the so-called “democracies” of Israel and the United States.
Israel is not a democracy, much like the corporate-fascist police state, the United States is not a democracy in any true sense – except that, to boot, they’re also a theocracy, with ultra-conservative, hate-preaching, rabid rabbis dictating policy to Netanyahu and his ultra-conservative Likud Party. Their government is beholden to a small, elite group of fundamentalist rabbis – much in the way the Iranian government is, to a degree, beholden to a small, privileged group of fundamentalist clerics.
Regarding the quoted material – trust me when i tell you, there exists a nearly infinite laundry list of other war crimes and crimes against humanity aside from the issue of the settlements.
The illegal settlements – and ultra-violent settlers – are merely the tip of the iceberg. If any rational, intelligent, honest, and informed person stops and thinks about it – the settlers in Israel are no different than the settlers of old in North America. No different whatsoever. They are racist, hateful, and violent. They steal the land and they have no compunction about it at all. When push comes to shove – which of course, only takes form of a handful of rock-throwing youth who are rightfully angry about these hideous crimes, they will kill – all in the name of the land they’ve stolen. For further perspective, chew on this notion –
Even the United States has at the least, acknowledged their sordid and dark history regarding Native America, and have even shelled out billions of dollars in compensation. For such a hegemonic, despotic, and similarly criminal power, this says a lot. Israel can’t even take even the very first step of acknowledging their missteps, that the settlements are a gross violation of international law, or admit to the glaring discrepancy of “democracy” regarding their own Arab-Israeli citizens who live among them within their own, illegal borders.
At most, Americans hear little peeps here and there about this “problem with the settlements”. They don’t hear about how every settler owns an automatic rifle, how every settlement has terror groups that disturbingly resemble the Ku Klux Klan of America’s own past, how these terrorist groups make no bones about the fact that they enjoy using the evicted Israeli-Arab citizens as target practice, or exactly just how much land has been stolen from them, strong-arm style, with no remorse, no compensation, even the most meager compensation at that, and with no warning.
Regarding the upcoming bid, mull over this pathetic blip in the news – the one time – the one and only time that Israel even so much as contemplated halting the settlements came quite recently – they offered to halt construction if only the Palestinians would “come back to the (corrupt and loaded) bargaining table” – as opposed to continuing their push in the UN. Talk about a last-ditch effort of cowardly groveling:
“Oh, please, oh please, don’t go to the UN! We’ll talk! We can be sensible – now that our arm is being twisted! Come back! C’mon! Hey, look, we’ll even stop building more settlements if you just come back! Please? Hello? Hey, where’d you go?”
Palestinians aren’t happy with Israelis, but they don’t harbor quite the same hatred that Israelis hold for them. To be sure – many Palestinians are unhappy – yet, who could blame them, when every time a new peace offer is put on the table by the rest of the international community, every time that they actually hold a democratic election, every time that they try and advance their international standing and relations, every time that they simply refuse the underhanded and loaded “negotiations” on behalf of Israel and the US – they are attacked and invaded? If you look back upon the last decade and all of the other invasions of Palestine – 2000 – 2006 – 2009 – this is exactly what happened. Think back to the recent election that voted Hamas in power. This was simply not allowed – even though Hamas had, to the astonishment of many, vastly moderated their stance – even to the point that they officially stated that, if the will of the Palestinians was a two-state solution, they would accept it and support it. Palestine isn’t asking for every inch of land that they’ve lost over the years, they just want Gaza and the West Bank back. Over the past decade, the corner suicide bomber in the Tel Aviv marketplace has become a thing of the past. And again – the only few grad rocket attacks have only come upon the aforementioned reasons – in retaliation for brutal measures, kidnappings, and other criminal activity on behalf of the IDF. Strings of years have gone by with no rocket attacks – and this is verifiable even via the criminal UN itself, for they keep very detailed records – again, unlike Western media.
All you ever hear about on such matters from the obfuscating and dishonest Western media concern the (retaliatory) grad rocket attacks from Gaza. You never read the reports of overflight sonic booms, assassinations, choking of funds, denial of basic services, blockage of aid (not just with regard to flotillas), restriction of movement, massive kidnapping (and child abuse), indefinite detention, brutal oppression, and everyday humiliation – all carried out by the IDF, the Mossad, the Shin Bet, and the state of Israel.
The violence only flares up when Palestine seeks what is righteous; it only rears its ugly head when they seek peace and democracy – and are denied it; it only rocks the region when Palestine rightfully rejects hollow promises and loaded negotiations; it does not escalate upon the 10th IDF kidnapping, it escalates upon the 1,000th. Rocket attacks are hardly ever with impunity, bordering on “never”. They are (not to condone violence) the last resort, they are retaliatory, they are the final solution – when all efforts of peace have failed and when all attempts at rational discussion and genuine negotiation have met a likewise fate. Even more recently and to reinforce the point – do you remember when the attacks (on Gaza) really began to pick up? i’ll remind you: when the Emir of Qatar came and paid a visit. This was a huge diplomatic acknowledgement of legitimacy – something which is, again, completely unacceptable to Israel.
This is exactly the case today, same as it’s ever been. Palestine is seeking justice and Israel says “no”. Palestine is asking for a return to the pre-1967 borders – a request that the majority of the international community has deemed reasonable – and Israel says “no”. Palestine is asking for an end to the brutality and crimes against humanity – and Israel says “no”. Palestine is receiving more and more international recognition – and Israel says, “hell, no!”
What is not at stake is Israel’s livelihood, despite the tired and stale objections of Netanyahu. This is what he and Barak, and Lieberman (Avigdor) are always crying about – much in the tradition of the American Congressman’s “waving of the bloody shirt”. Holocaust this, Holocaust that…all the while, and with the sickest and most perverted sense of irony that is humanly possible, Israel is perpetrating crimes against humanity much in the manner (yet obviously not in scale) that their own oppressors did over seventy years ago in the fairly distant past. The principals of Nuremburg are now null and void – especially to Israel. Why?
Fear. Plain and simple. Israel is more fearful than ever – yet not of “extinction”, annihilation, or destruction.
They are afraid of the very self-destruction that their government is teetering on. As noted before, the “come back to Israel” advertisements seen on any Israeli online daily are farcical, pathetic, and in vein.
“Oh sure, let’s move to Israel so we can live under a tyranny worse than that of George W. Bush! Let’s move back so that we can live in the renewed fear of cross-border violence brought about by the illegal settlements! Let’s move back so that we can be lumped together with the oppression that the rest of the world has been slowly waking up to! Let’s move from our relatively democratic Diaspora communities into a fundamentalist theocracy! Sure, let’s move from places where there is actually hope for a better tomorrow, no matter how dim – as opposed to a place where it is only guaranteed to get worse with each passing day! Ooh, yes, let’s move back to Israel so that we can run the risk of being engulfed in a regional war that our backwards, rigidly ideological, fundamentalist, and racist leader has flat-out insisted upon! Sounds great!”
The state of Israel is, again, as noted elsewhere, in decline, and as opposed to luring the Diaspora back, it has instead witnessed a minor exodus, for the aforementioned reasons. The dim hope for a real democracy has been extinguished. The educated class of technocrats are leaving – and taking their capital with them. Netanyahu is squarely to blame. The promise of a regional war involving nearly every single neighbor grows more promising with each passing hour. The international community is fed up with their brutal oppression of Gaza, and Diaspora Jews are no longer fooled by tired speeches about the Holocaust, false claims of terrorism, and silly diagrams of Super Mario-type bombs. Much like the United States’ bogus war on terror and their complicity in September Morning, Israelis are waking up. The world is waking up. The whole thing stinks, and everyone but Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman knows it.
More than likely, even if (most likely, when) Palestine is formally granted observer status in the UN, Israel will not be faced with terribly punitive measures. Well, not by the UN or the US, anyways. Yet –
What they will face is a terrible and costly loss of credibility in the eyes of the world, certain deteriorating diplomatic relations with other nations, likely dwindling trade agreements, all as a result of this embarrassment. For even as the United States was roundly and flatly condemned by the World Court for its actions in Nicaragua (among others), Israel is not the United States. Even $3 billion of (military) aid from the US is not enough to save it, at least diplomatically. Even if (again, more likely, when) Netanyahu gives the green light to strike Iran – and a terrible regional war ensues – if the fiasco doesn’t end in mushroom clouds, instead of being dominant and on the offensive, Israel will be on the defensive again, in a very precarious state. And then they’ll really have something to worry about, then they will have good reason to be paranoid. Again, this runs parallel to the situation with Iran – it’s not that they’ll be in jeopardy of “being wiped off the map” (a gross mistranslation, topic for another Note), but they will have lost utter and complete hegemony, be it military – or political.
And that’s what they really don’t want to let go of – complete and utter hegemony.
Just know that, at the end of the day, it didn’t have to be this way. If it weren’t for a heightened sense of paranoia, racism, and illegal, twisted, and hegemonic policies, this could have had a different ending. The leaders of Israel, nearly from the beginning (at least since the 1947-1948 “War For Independence”, which was really not the conception of the state), have blundered every opportunity to prove to their neighbors that they meant nothing but goodwill, that they simply wanted to have a refuge of their own in the post-Nazi era, to be left alone, and to leave others alone in turn.
The great experiment has failed.
On a more personal note, the very few of you (if any) who actually listen to Israeli sources on Israel (now there’s a novel idea) will know that, as alluded to, cracks in the formerly bulletproof image of Israel and its image of innocently defending itself have appeared. To be more accurate – the cracks were yesterday. Today is fault lines. It’s one thing when it’s an intellectual (Noam Chomsky, Tony Judt, Richard Falk, et al, – all of whom, incidentally, are Jewish) who is relatively obscure in the public’s mind, is going against the grain and speaking out on Israeli atrocities. It’s another matzo ball altogether when this kind of talk is beginning to creep into mainstream journalism, showing up in, of all publications, even the New York Times.
The backlash of the international Diaspora has been noted by conservative Israeli leaders and Zionists in the Diaspora. Again, this is the kind of thing that truly keeps the Haredi rabbis and Likud politicians awake at night. For, as any seasoned observer of war and politics well knows, politics are merely war by less violent means, and all violent wars are political. When public support – much less, international support – is lost, there is a gross erosion of power. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sadly, these “desperate times”, again, are completely self-inflicted. It didn’t have to be this way. Yet, this is the history, the walls are closing in, and Bibi, Ehud, and Avigdor all know it. They’re suffocating. They’re getting desperate, indeed.
One last point about the recent aggression and escalation: once again, to reiterate – all roads to Tehran lead through Damascus (check), Beirut (check), and Gaza (check).